Petter Solberg leads the Acropolis Rally of Greece by 51.6 seconds at the end of the first day after a fantastic performance through the opening six stages in his privately-run Citroen DS3 WRC.
After winning the opening stage of the rally, the Norwegian was nearly 20 seconds quicker through the second stage than anybody else to give himself a 20.3s lead at midday service. He then won the next two stages to extend his lead, which stood at 29.2s with one stage left to run.
However, his lead was exteded further when second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala suffered a differential problem on his Ford. The Finn lost three and a half minutes, dropping him to eighth overall.
Sebastien Loeb moved up from fifth to second on the final stage, the defending champion and points leader taking advantage of Latvala’s issue as well as Mikko Hirvonen and Sebastien Ogier‘s slowing tactics in the final test. Hirvonen is 3.7s off Loeb, with Ogier 1.9s behind the Finn.
Henning Solberg is fifth, with M-Sport Stobart teammate Matthew Wilson sixth. Top Super 2000 runner Ott Tanak is seventh, ahead of Latvala. Tanak’s nearest SWRC rival Juho Hanninen is ninth. Kimi Raikkonen was ahead of Tanak going into the final stage but has now dropped to tenth in his Ice 1 Citroen, having gone off the road, stalled, and finsihed with a puncture on the final stage.
The remaining Stobart cars of Mads Ostberg and Evgeny Novikov retired, Ostberg after going off the road on SS4 while Novikov suffered broken suspension on SS2.
Top ten positions after SS6:
|1.||11||Petter Solberg||PSWRT||Citroen DS3 WRC||1:39:24.2|
|2.||1||Sebastien Loeb||Citroen Total||Citroen DS3 WRC||+51.6|
|3.||3||Mikko Hirvonen||Ford Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+55.3|
|4.||2||Sebastien Ogier||Citroen Total||Citroen DS3 WRC||+57.2|
|5.||15||Henning Solberg||M-Sport Stobart||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+1:43.2|
|6.||5||Matthew Wilson||M-Sport Stobart||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+2:27.7|
|7.||22||Ott Tanak||MM||Ford Fiesta S2000||+3:32.4|
|8.||4||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Abu Dhabi||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+3:55.0|
|9.||25||Juho Hanninen||Red Bull Skoda||Skoda Fabia S2000||+4:01.6|
|10.||8||Kimi Raikkonen||Ice 1 Racing||Citroen DS3 WRC||+4:04.7|